On Looking into Words is a wide-ranging volume spanning current research into word structure and morphology, with a focus on historical linguistics and linguistic theory. The papers are offered as a tribute to Stephen R. Anderson, the Dorothy R. Diebold Professor of Linguistics at Yale, who is retiring at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year. The contributors are friends, colleagues, and former students of Professor Anderson, all important contributors to linguistics in their own right. As is typical for such volumes, the contributions span a variety of topics relating to the interests of the honorand. In this case, the central contributions that Anderson has made to so many areas of linguistics and cognitive science, drawing on synchronic and diachronic phenomena in diverse linguistic systems, are represented through the papers in the volume.
The 26 papers that constitute this volume are unified by their discussion of the interplay between synchrony and diachrony, theory and empirical results, and the role of diachronic evidence in understanding the nature of language. Central concerns of the volume include morphological gaps, learnability, increases and declines in productivity, and the interaction of different components of the grammar. The papers deal with a range of linked synchronic and diachronic topics in phonology, morphology, and syntax (in particular, cliticization), and their implications for linguistic theory.